Child Care Action Plans Attack Shortages

In recent years, a shortage of child care has emerged as a serious issue across Minnesota. In response to these challenges, Northspan has worked with communities to develop child care community action plans that lay the groundwork for meaningful solutions.

In fall 2020, Northspan contracted with the Northland Foundation, a regional leader in child care research, policy, and resource creation, to help prepare communities to add more child care slots. Initial engagements aimed to assist communities that had the most serious shortages of child care according to updated, local-level data gathered using the same methods as the Northland Foundation’s 2018 report titled “The Economic Impacts of the Child Care Shortage in Northeastern Minnesota.” To help communities tackle these seemingly giant problems, Northspan began by making a plan.

The community action plans begin by gathering all resources on child care for a community into a single document. They identify local stakeholders and lay out the data that shows existing child care slots and unmet demand. They offer some models and creative solutions, identify available properties that are suitable for a facility, and lay out workforce availability and pipeline options. The action plans conclude with a lengthy list of funding resources that can get projects off the ground.

Northspan began its first engagement in Silver Bay, where a community business group called Shoring Up Business identified child care as a serious need. By bringing partners together and steering the process, the City of Silver Bay has now acquired a facility for a new child care center. On the East Range, where Northspan serves as a consultant for the East Range Joint Powers Board, we developed a similar action plan and are now working with a potential provider on her business plan. Check it out here: Northspan_EastRange_Child Care CSAP 2.26.20

If your community could benefit from an action plan, contact Northspan Operations Manager & Associate Consultant Amanda Vuicich at to get started.